Study Guide

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra Act III, Scene iii

By William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene iii

  • Cleopatra and her servants meet the messenger she had previously whipped. He’s bearing news on just how Octavia matches up with Cleopatra in the competition for Antony’s affection.
  • The news turns out to be good. He watched Octavia in Rome as she walked between Antony and Caesar. The woman, he reports, isn't beautiful. She’s short, brown-haired and round-faced, with a low forehead, walks with a creep instead of a saunter, and she’s at least 30.
  • Cleopatra is overjoyed and repents that she cursed Antony.
  • She promises the messenger plenty of gold, and asks forgiveness for that one time when she tried to knife him.
  • Cleopatra’s certain that she can win Antony’s affections back.